Greg Pearce to be new NSW IR Minister


Greg Pearce to be new NSW IR Minister

The new NSW Industrial Relations Minister is expected to be the current shadow Minister, Greg Pearce.


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The new NSW Industrial Relations Minister is expected to be the current shadow Minister, Greg Pearce.
Pearce is a former commercial lawyer and was for a time shadow Treasurer, but accepted without protest a transfer to shadow Minister for Financial Management to allow Mike Baird to move into that position.
He also held the shadow portfolios of Housing Strategy and the Illawarra. Pearce has strong environmental credentials.
The Liberal Opposition has had very little to say about workplace relations in the run-up to the election. The new Liberal Government is unlikely to want to take back the private sector powers now ceded to Canberra by all states except Western Australia.
However, it is likely to be tougher on public sector unions, such as the Teachers Federation, and insist on productivity gains in return for wage rises.
Public sector reforms
This will be done through the appointment of a NSW Public Service Commissioner who, among other things, will be expected to:
  • improve the integrity, performance and accountability of the state’s public sector workforce
  • restore the highest levels of impartiality, ability, accountability and leadership in the NSW Public Service
  • ensure public service positions are filled on the basis of merit and qualifications, not patronage or favouritism
  • assist the NSW Public Service to become an employer of choice that is attractive to the highest calibre of individual candidates
  • promote a public sector culture where initiative, the achievement of results and individual responsibility are strongly valued.
Unions NSW congratulates O’Farrell
Meanwhile, Unions NSW has offered their congratulations to new Premier Barry O’Farrell and his team on their election victory.
‘I have called Mr O’Farrell today to congratulate him and the Coalition on their win,’ said Unions NSW secretary Mark Lennon.
‘Clearly, the electors of NSW have delivered a decisive victory for the Coalition.’
‘The mood for change out in the electorate was very strong and that was reflected in the election result.’
Lennon said Unions NSW looked forward to a productive and professional working relationship with the new government.
‘To that end we are encouraged by O’Farrell’s comments that he will seek to represent the middle ground and that ideological agendas don’t have a place in our state,’
Lennon said.
‘Over the term of this Parliament we will seek to advance our agenda with the new government in the interests of working people.’
‘In particular we will focus on jobs growth, skills enhancement, affordable housing, and the provision of better public services.’
‘Sign up for OHS harmonisation,’ urges NSWBC
NSW’s largest business organisation, NSW Business Chamber, also congratulated O’Farrell, on his party’s historic win in Saturday’s state election, and said that one of his first tasks should be to sign up to the Federal Government’s OHS harmonisation scheme.
‘This is a comprehensive victory and indicates strong community support for a real change of direction in NSW — and it is also a real rejection of the “business as usual” approach to politics in this state’, said Stephen Cartwright, CEO of NSW Business Chamber.
‘The immediate impact of the change of government will be a lift in business confidence, particularly as it relates to working with the Government. In recent years, the regularly changing priorities, personnel changes and the start-stop approach to portfolios like transport have all dented the confidence of business in working with the State Government.’
‘The challenge before the new Government is to deliver results that match the strength of the mandate. The new Government also has to shift the focus of decision making away from the 24 hour news cycle to the longer term and bigger issues facing NSW.’
‘In recent months, NSW Business Chamber through its NSW Deserves Bettercampaign, has argued that the State could do so much better — now Barry O’Farrell must deliver the better outcomes he has promised.’
‘The new Government needs to move quickly on implementing its agenda.’
Cartwright said that in the first hundred days of the new government one of the key policy areas business wanted to see implemented was the new government to sign up to Julia Gillard’s federal harmonisation of OH&S — and create a fair workplace safety system in New South Wales.
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